Monthly Archives: December 2010

A New and Glorious Morn

I walked up to the room just off the library at my law school and saw the recruitment officer seated at a table. I looked his way and called out from the door, “you know I have a law enforcement background and would be an excellent JAG.” (Judge Advocate General) The officer smiled broadly and said, “I won’t ask!” absolutely getting the gist of my comment. I responded, “yeah, but I would TELL.” We held our gaze for awkward moment, then I walked on to my next class. What a shame I thought…he correctly summed me up by appearance, made a judgment (a correct one) then totally excluded me from consideration for the military. Oh yes, you might say I could have signed up …IF I was ready to make one big lie. What a way to start one’s military career….lie to the country you are about to swear to defend and serve.

Truth be told…and this blog is about truth and not lies…..I didn’t want to be in the military anyway, but it stung that I knew I was excluded. I guess my sexuality would have come up a lot in cases that I was prosecuting…and in trial, etc. NOT!! Not once in 11 years of practice has such a topic been an issue in my work. Craziness.

I was so pleased and moved to tears when President Obama signed the bill into law this week ending the policy of discrimination we all know as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell…..good riddance!! They say approximately 13,500 Americans were discharged under DADT since it’s inception…most of those coming after voluntary admissions. There are soldiers hunkered down in bunkers in Afghanistan today as I write this…on their third and fourth tours of duty because of lack of personnel. Wonder what their answer would be to the following question. Would you mind if a very competent, gay soldier takes your place so you can be with your kids on Christmas day?

Long lay the world in sin and error pining

Senator John McCain proclaimed, on the day of the signing,”Today is a very sad day.” Really Senator? The Senator flip-flops more than breakfast on your local iHop grill. A onetime proponent to end the discrimination, McCain changed his public stance at a time when it appeared he wasn’t going to be able to keep hold of his Senate seat. I will always respect the man for his service to country, but McCain is everything that is wrong with Washington…the old guard.

For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn

I look to the future, the generations that fall beyond mine. I always thought the baby-boomers would be the ones to end all bigotry and discrimination. The generation of hippies, free love, the youthful witnesses of President Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King and their march toward civil rights for all. The boomers have sorely disappointed me so I look forward. I now cast my gaze to the generation raised with iPads, Facebook, and digital information. A new generation will lead the way as we become an enlightened people….I hope it comes to fruition in my lifetime.

Chains shall break, for the slave is our brother

In aberration, the italicised comments in this blog are from the Christian based carol, Oh Holy Night. Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association stated in an article published this week that the new Marine motto will be “The Few, the Proud, the Sexually Twisted.” Just wait Mr. Fischer, the children of today are more evolved than you and I and will bring forth great change to our society. My faith is in them, while yours is seated in a hateful and vengeful god….I have many Christian friends who don’t know your god….theirs is THE ONE of overflowing love and acceptance of all children.

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming

I see a serenely beaming light of equality and it is just now peeping up over the horizon. One day I will blog about the end of the Defense of Marriage Act…..and yet another I will expound with great joy and celebration about marriage equality across this great land of ours.

Merry Christmas to you…..and may the light of goodness and equality shine upon our men and women in the armed forces…today and every day. Peace be with you.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,


1960’s Style Christmas

First published in December 2009, I re-post today as a way of wishing you all a very joyful holiday season.

My father and mother had what the Hollywood movie-makers call a “Meet-Cute.” My mother Jewel, was in the Women’s Auxiliary Corps in WWII and drove a supply truck. She made a fateful food delivery to the mess hall one day and met the cook, my father Jim. Their union last 35 years, until my father’s death in 1976, and produced 7 children. They were systematic people and named their children James, Joyce, Janice, Joan, John, Junene, and Julya.

I tell you that because it lays the ground-work for what I call the golden years of the 1960s when people really did Christmas right. I know, you probably think nostalgia is clouding my memory, and you would probably be right. But there is something to be said about these memories that so many of my peers share.  Those scenes in our minds that resemble the late 80’s TV show, The Wonder Years. It was indeed, a wonderous time for me.

I was born on Christmas eve, 1961 and grew up believing that the people who showed up on our doorstep singing songs every year did that just for me. My mother would answer the door, whisper into an ear that it was my birthday,  and the carolers would start to sing.  Their voices, singing the Happy Birthday song, would echo down Oak Street, as I sat listening on the top step of my porch.

My mother was also one of seven children and in the 1960s our house was the place to be. Relatives from far and near would show up to eat the feast prepared by Jim and Jewel. Having a mother that is a great cook and a father that is a chef is fantastic for parties and producing fat kids. They did both.

Our den became a buffet line and approximately 80 people would file through to load up their plates. To this day, I believe random passersby joined the line for my father’s sumptuous food and mother’s classic salads. They didn’t care, to my father it made about as much sense as feeding a second cousin that he only saw once a year.

As the youngest child, I was spoiled beyond belief. My parents were older when they had me and my sister Junene, more stable financially. The earlier five kids had suffered through the lean years and to this day remind me of the disparity. Bottom line is I got whatever I asked Santa to bring me.


Junene would wake me up at 3am to go take a look in the living room at the goodies left behind by Santa. Remember the feeling that came over you? Remember what it was like to see that new bike glistening under the lights of the tree? If I could give one thing to every kid on the planet it would be that feeling. The utter joy that I can recall as a middle-aged woman and still get a tickle in my stomach. Wouldn’t that be a great gift to be able to share?

Carolers will not be on my porch singing and my mother’s arm will not be draped around me this year, but you know what? The 1960’s Christmas memories are enough to sustain me, they run that deep.

If you are reading this, try to make a memory, in the month of December,  that someone might write about 40 years from now. Moments that last just 60 seconds, can live on in the child within us forever.

I wish for all of you one of those moments. Merry Christmas.